For instance, what surprised me most in researching this book, beyond the many health benefits of eating only plants, was the incredible impact of a plant-based lifestyle on the earth. Thankfully, more and more people are waking up to the knowledge that we need to do more to mitigate the worst-case scenarios of climate change. This book will hopefully prove to you that a plant-based lifestyle can not only help you avoid, slow down, or reverse most chronic illnesses plaguing Western societies, but it’s also the most impactful thing we as individuals can do to prevent a global, catastrophic disaster.
In addition to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, plant-based foods also play a role in gene expression—whether or not a “bad” gene turns on or off. Apparently, our genes do not need to be our destiny, which I believe is probably a relief to everyone. Lifestyle and the foods we eat play a more significant role than our DNA does in determining our health. Dr. Bergquist also states, “An ‘epigenetic diet’ is eating for the health of your DNA. Most healthful epigenetic foods discovered so far contain polyphenols, bioactive phytochemicals present in fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.”
From Chapter Three:
Escape the Meatrix for Your Health
Fortunately, the National Institute of Health knows and has passed along to the medical community what would help bring healing to their patients: “Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”
This update to physicians was in 2013! Why isn’t this information displayed in every doctor’s office rather than advertisements for insulin and cardiac medications? Why aren’t patients with cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes told that one simple yet vital lifestyle change could prevent, reverse, or stabilize their chronic health conditions?
From Chapter Four:
Escape the Meatrix for the Planet
It takes thirteen pounds of feed and sixty-five square feet of land to create a quarter pound of beef, while generating about four pounds of greenhouse gases. Business Insider put it this way: “In reality, your hamburger isn’t something bought and paid for, but a symbol of a debt that, one day, must be repaid.”
The idea of a burger symbolizing a debt reminded me of a significant environmental quote by Kentucky Hall of Fame writer Wendell Berry. In his book, The Unforeseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, Mr. Berry wrote that “the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” The choices each of us makes now will determine the amount of debt owed. Everyone consuming animal-based foods fuels greater and greater climate change, all but guaranteeing that their children and children’s children will inherit a debt so vast that no one could possibly ever repay it.
Steven Chu, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, former Energy Secretary, and Nobel Prize recipient, reported the amount of greenhouse gases generated by the Meatrix was much higher. “If cattle and dairy cows were a country, they would have more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire E.U. 28,” said Chu.
From Chapter Six:
On the other hand, science tells us humans are not at the top of any food chain and that consuming animal products contributes to climate change and many of the common illnesses plaguing our society. As we’ve discussed, plant-based diets prevent certain types of cancers and are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, obesity, total cholesterol, and strokes. And yet, we’re so addicted to meat we’d rather destroy the planet and become ill than stop eating it!
“Your brain is hooked on the shit that the Matrix has been force-feeding you for years.”
Morpheus to Neo
The Matrix Resurrections, 2021
Like Neo in the Matrix, the Meatrix hooked my brain and my body on what it force-fed me since birth. Since taking the red pill and becoming plant-based, I see how I was living in a world of speciesism, brainwashed by the Meatrix and hooked on its products. I believe the Meatrix held this power over me because it is a cult I was born into and never questioned.
From Chapter Twelve:
The Meat Myth, Marketing, and Low Prices
Saying meat has protein is like saying cocaine makes you happy. While both may be true, there are many other things to consider when consuming either product.